Freezing couple’s plea rejected

A COUPLE whose home is ‘so cold it’s like living outside’ have been refused permission to replace their ancient timber windows.

One of the couple's rotten windows
One of the couple's rotten windows

A COUPLE whose home is ‘so cold it’s like living outside’ have been refused permission to replace their ancient timber windows.

The pair say that their old single-glazed windows are in such poor condition that they let in drafts, rain and, last week, snow.

This winter, which saw a cold snap hit in mid-January, left them needing to wear two jumpers while they sat at home.

Their full story - and details of the Planning application panel meeting - in today's JEP.

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Comments for: "Freezing couple’s plea rejected"

Simple Sid

Take planning to the court of human rights, never heard anything so crazy.


fit new single glazed wooden windows and live in the world the way previous generations did.


Why should they? This is the 21st century for god's sake! No one in this day and age should have to suffer cold temperatures. If I were them I would go ahead and replace them anyway. What are the states going to do? Make them put the damaged windows back in? Stuff the States!

RESPONSIBILITY not laziness should prevail

owning a PROPER jersey property (and not merely a prefab box) has responsibilities and SHOULD BE STUCK TOO. buy correct wooden windows!

fresh air frederickus

fresh air is good for you, it blows away the radon gas, carbon monoxide, and flatulence. that's why all the little darlings that get carted everywhere in 4x4's with the windows shut have all got ASTHMA/ALLERGIES. all these drivers who dont open their windows are breathing in all the SOLVENTS/PLASTIC GASES/GLUES/CARPET CHEMICALS/HOT ELECTRICAL COMPONENT FUMES/ CAR VALETING CHEMICALS ETC. we never had all these allergies when we were cavemen BAHR CRI....


They obviosuly don't want to do that and want to make a point.

Simple Sid

Maybe planning should pay for them if they care that much, wooden units cost a fortune.


You miss the point. They simply don't want to replace them with any windows other than the ones that thay want- if they won't listen to planning then they really only have themselves to blame.

I don't see why the taxpayer should fund a hissy fit.



Also demolish the toilets ang go wee and poo outside - as previous occupants managed since 1800's.

WC Fields

Yes, a very insightful contribution there. Well done.

D de Jersey

Haha you make a valid point.

Our planning department have been infiltrated and subverted by Amish who would have us ride around in horse and carts and pray when we get Sick instead of going to the hospital.

Blue Knight

Another indication that the lunatics have taken over the asylum - who was it said, rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.


I beleive it was Douglas Bader the legless* fighter pilot.Not drunk*

Legless donkey


Did you know that Breda is an anagram of Bader.

Does the Breda triangle still exist in st helier I would like to come again.

the thin wallet

la buvette is closed .

the othello is across the road is still there but called the globe i think. the bath is still there but ithink called africa house .

the whole area was to be developed , but some thing has gone of the rails between the planers and the developers i believe .


I know exactly how they feel. I am renting in private sector and my flat is the same as theirs. Our landlord is quick to put the rent up by anything up to 100 per month however he doesn't care at the fact we are living in freezing flats. What rights does one have? Our electric bills are ridiculous and we are reluctant to put our heating because of the cost and the fact its going out the window.

I hear you say move well it isn't that easy as other flats I have viewed are no better...

Is there any rights for tenants as the landlords seem to have all the rights.

I feel for that couple, yet the states again refuse to help as they are not suffering, how about doing a swap and see how long they would last, not everyone can live like lords....

Tim South

There will be a lot of sympathy for you and people with cold flats that have to pay a lot to try and keep the place warm or wear layers of clothes.

I know severally property owners who rent out and they would love to put in double glazing not only so that tenants are warmer but there is less noise and the property would have added value and it is the norm in other civilised administrations.

The big problem Jersey has unlike the UK is that although the Jersey planning department preach green rules and regulations in new builds, they will not let people up grade to warmer more eco friendly double or triple glazed windows to save loss of heat.

It might be because the States have a big interest in selling electricity being a major shareholder of the JEC and want people to have cold accommodation that needs a lot of heating.

Minister for planning Rob du Hamel could do himself and Jersey a great service, if he tore up the weird planning rule book and unless it is a grade 1 or 2 listed building ( Church ) allow double glazing for anyone that wants it.


I Pasdenom

Mo, "...Our landlord is quick to put the rent up by anything up to 100 per month however he doesn’t care at the fact we are living in freezing flats..."

If Planning won't allow him to replace poor performing windows how is that him not caring?

If your Landlord is raising your rent surely the formula for doing so was in your lease, and that is where you'll find the answer to who has what rights with regards to rental increase.

I haven't read the full article in the print edition, but I imagine Planning is not simple refusing to allow the replacement of the windows pictured, I imagine there saying they won't allow them to be replaced with the cheaper option of plastic windows the applicant would like to use.

I personally don't like cheap plastic replacement windows, so I can see Plannings point, but without knowing the particulars of the case it's hard to say whether Planing are right or wrong(I suspect wrong).

I've been in a very similar situation with Planning making demands that weren't economical or necessary, and which have condemned that particular property to most likely become derelict over time due to their poor understanding of managing the environment.


I'm sorry, but your comment that your landlord has doubled your rent doesn't quite pass the believability test. As another respondent says, check the lease.

Jersey landlords, eh? Generally, I have sympathy with tenants who are on the wrong end of the supply and demand tru-ism. If we did have laws about these things, I daresay we'd moan about the cost of the bureaucracy that would have to follow.

Bill De Nowse

If you kept an animal in these kind of conditions the JSPCA would come down on you like a ton of bricks. Doesn't make sense.


Well I have experienced the same thing with a property i once owned. Planning (or as it was then the IDC) refused to allow my changing my windows into the style i wished because they claimed it did not follow the format of the other homes in the area. The cost of an acceptable window frame design to them ended up costing me over 40% more. Imagine my total frustration when visiting the same property some 6yrs after i had sold it to discover nearly every house in the avenue with different styles of windows


That is the matter in a nutshell, Devon.

What seems to have happened here is that the applicants were not permitted to install the windows that they wanted to install.

So, instead of installng windows that perhaps they did not want to install but which would have been permitted, they have chosen to allow the wood-rot to continue to the stage where they are now able to make a case to the paper and don the mantle of the martyr.

The fuller report in the JEP goes one stage further and paints a somewhat clearer picture. It reports that the applicant was told that "the panel could approve double glazing under a different application".

An historic building officer also reported that the existing windows were capable of being repaired.

It is, therefore clear that two options are readily available to the applicant which tends to cast doubt over the veracity of the headline and causes one to question why the person concerned went running to the news paper.

the thin wallet

i rember seeing a plot of land for sale, near a well known beach in jersey, in the discription it stated that only to be used for parking or storage.

well blow me down theres are odd designed house on the plot , which looks like nothing else in the area .


In all the twenty years I have dealt with the Planning Department in Jersey I come to to the conclusion that they have two policies -

How can we assist?

1) Are you a rich (pref Irish) developer? Yes, you are, great I am just going to roll over now, can you tickle my tummy please? thanks. Approved.

2) Are you anybody else? Yes crap, look here's loads of forms to fill in maybe in like 3 years we'll have a look at them but we are really busy so No but here is the appeals procedure.


it will be when someone gets really ill or dies they will think again . i feel sorry for the poor people who have to live with this . get the states members who so no to live like that see how they like it

Toys out of pram

That may be correct, but the situation here seems to have developer more due to obstinance than anything else- the applicants were given options by planning which they failed to take up.

The problem seems to arise because they don't want to repair the windows or to fit ones which will be approved, so the position is really of their own making. They are, in effect, "prisoners of conscience", fighting a weird and wonderful cause.


That picture is exactly like our old dodgy rented property's windows!


Providing you replace with the same type I can't see how they would refuse. We have replaced our with original type and there was no problem are they trying to replace with a different type because they can't leave your property to rot like this.Sound strage must be more to it


i used to live in house with same problem- listed building so no way of replacing windows. but the landlord overcame this by installing sliding windows from inside which didnt quite cured it but helped a lot. good luck to them

D de Jersey

Which I'm sure looked pretty cr@ ppy compared to a decent double glazed sash window.


Well there must be more to this story as it is against the planning laws. All windows can be replaced on listed buildings as long as they are made of the same materials and replicate the previous windows, just with double or treble glazing added to new windows. I did this in my grade 1 listed property. It is more expensive yes as timber sash windows are extortionate cost, but grants are available to help with this if you meet certain criteria.

Warren J

I am inclined to agree. The windows in question are over 100 years old and have bee allowed to decay through lack of maintenance.

Modern plastic windows have a limited life span - the hinges break, the glazing units eventually leak and mist up.

I would suggest to the owners that they replace what is there, and consider installing additional secondary glazing which will cut out noise.

Alternatively, sell up and buy a small modern property which is cheaper to maintain.


Modern plastic windows have a limited life span. I would suggest to the owners that they replace what is there, and consider installing additional secondary glazing which will cut out noise. Alternatively, sell up and buy a small modern property which is cheaper to maintain. Where do you live ????????????? You must have lived in Jersey for a long time, decent UPVC windows will last for decades and won't rot and you would think they're wood. Jersey is years behind and your comments just prove it:-(((((((((. I was lucky enough to grow up in Germany and while returning to Jersey I was shocked. In Jersey, you have people living in properties that are worth £500.000 and it's not even the standard of social housing elsewhere. I don't know what went wrong in Jersey but these decisions just prove that the Island is declining.

St clement gardener

Not true. Heritage can actually make you repair them if the want to.

Warren J

If they are beyond repair, they can be replaced, with what is there.

The windows at Hamptone are 'new' because I know the Joiner who made them !


The owner of the property should be allowed to change them with whatever type of window he wishes. It's his property after all. Next we'll have planning telling us that you can only fit a certain type of kitchen unit/bathroom because it's like the one fitted originally.


I agree roombay 42 and the UK in general has a big problem with planning restrictions. It's fine to keep a certain design of build but this all goes too far and so many properties are outdated. Why don't we only allow people to have a horse carriage parked outside, instead of a 4x4.


Richard, was that recently?

Planning keep telling us we cannot replace our grade 2 windows with anything which is double or triple glazed because the old glass has an aesthetic appeal which new glass doesn't. Or something. We found a supplier who would custom make wooden sash windows but this STILL wasn't good enough, its either repair the existing (which requires a competent and crazily expensive joiner) or do the ugly but practical secondary glazing - hardly preserving the internal in its original state but hey-ho. Incidentally all grants are currently suspended too ;-)

the thin wallet

fit the windows .

and take the jail if it is offered.

i must ask simple sid (1) what rights?

Scooby doo

This is so wrong it beggars belief. Is it really such a huge problem to allow replacement of rotten window frames with new ? Or are the JEP only reporting one side of the story as usual ? And the objections to the replacement frames are what exactly ?


I had to deal with the planning department quite extensively a couple of years back.

The biggest criticism I can possibly make of them, is that they lack integrity. They certainly don't have Jersey's best interests at heart, hence the reason they happily get into bed with Dandara, whilst ignoring the real people of this island

R B Bougourd

Jersey, the last bastion of freedom, where we love rules and regulations.

David Rotherham

Would it pass Building Regulations to put windows like these in a new build? I doubt it. I think it is. Grossly unfair not to allow occupiers of older properties the automatic right to upgrade to meet current specifications.

R. Williams

The owner of the property should be allowed to update the property as he wishes so long as it doesn't make the property unsafe.

This policy of not allowing old wooden windows to be replaced with modern thermally and hermetically efficient windows is a nonsense.

Careful choice of design won't spoil the building except in the eyes of a few dogmatists who would have us living with outside toilets if there wasn't one inside already.

These modern planners would be horrified if you wanted to build a folly nowadays.

Simple Sid

Planning need to look at the mess left over the last 10 years instead of picking on a member of the public the island has been ruined by letting amateurs build architectural monstrosertys all over the place I think I don't need to list them there is too much bureaucracy and bull it's about time planning opened their eyes.

the thin wallet

the old station house at corbiere is a good example of "what on earth is that tacked onto the side"

Finding Me;Mo

As long as Planning don't find out that there was an outbreak of cholera in Gorey in the 1870's .If they do then ALL of the residents of St.Martins will have to install faulty sewage systems!


Absolutely absurd by a planning panel who have no common sense between them, total brain dead!!

If I was this couple blow them and replace windows I certainly would... Attending these planning meetings and dealing with planning officers ,noting in a report that we cause more noise via a dusbin than a works site along side us, shows the callibre of members representing this Island


Jersey has become a sad place in many ways, one of the reasons I'm glad I left. We should encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint but Jersey has to make it difficult. Even countries like Poland are years ahead of Jersey when it comes to housing and are moving forward but some of these planning people live in 1960 and still believe Jersey is top in Europe. You'd never see a professional person in Europe live the way people do in Jersey.


this panel are some of the worse i've seen


This law should be changed as even rent paying people having to live in homes where they are'nt allowed to fix new windows because of a law stating they have to keep the building in an 1800's state is pure ludicrous. This is creating mold and Virus born infections within the house creating more FLU and in turn as we are having to go to work because of the times we are in ,are just passing it on to others !!! This includes you overpaid States members. Fresh air is healthy but get your heads out the ground and get with the times!!!!


I think you will find that sealing the houses with pvc windows etc is more likely to create mold and spread viruses because an old house needs to breathe.

D de Jersey

You can get pretty nice looking hardwood double glazed sash windows that are indistinguishable from the 19 th century ones unless you examine them closely.

How are the planning department preserving the island for future generations by banning double glazing in old houses anyway?

roger wing

I can fully understand the planning departments view on this situation, perhaps the planning department have failed to give proper advice on what would be an acceptable alternative to what I assume is planned to be replacement UPVC windows.

In the Uk I have fitted UPVC sash type windows which look like hardwood windows but are color injected UPVC. Alternatively you could fit hardwood double glazed window units in a 60 or 70 mm profile which can be made to measure [subject to survey] in the UK at a cheaper than local price. This only wants to be done once and would increase the property value in any event. Buying cheap UPVC windows is not advisable, local UK councils have done this and the units are normally replaced within six years!

Charlie G

There are two sides to every storey,and this may well be a case of an official dept,lacking in that very uncommon thing called common sense,but on the other hand wooden Windows and doors will detereorate (like most things)if not looked after no matter what the age,especialy in these damp humid ridden Islands of ours.However i for one would never fit pvc structures in my property,its over rated and has a sad lacking in character ,there is alot to be said for good hardwood Windows and doors,which brings out the best of most

Properties,and with periodic maintanance will last for years and years.The pvc salesmen have done a fantastic job in helping to de characterisie many of our wonderfull Island properties,and for that reason alone, planning Officials should be encouraging the use of wood and Even going as far as Producing a leaflet to addvise in the best method of wood maintanance.

Look to France or Scandinavia for fantastic Choice of good hard wood Windows And doors,and in those countries You are encouraged to use wood where ever possible,and in some cases Grants are Even available,to help property owners, my goodness me we are so behind the times here.


I hope there are more than two sides to a storey.

With reference to plastic windows they last for years, mine are 30 years old and are still working O.K. The new ones look much more realistic than they did.

Unfortunately wooden windows do not last as long as they used to as the wood isn't properly seasoned anymore.

jsy man

More like; planning refuse couples plans to replace original windows in a period property with cheaper white uvpc units, totally out of keeping with the building or surroundings.

It is not about human right etc etc.

Those windows have been left to rot away through deglect.

There ARE options to fit new windows in the style required which are also insulated and eco friendly etc. They will cost more but you know this when you buy an older property, or you're ignorant to it. Plus those windows haven't got like that overnight so there has been plenty of time to prepare for the costs.


Two sides to every story – like you can only get approval if you are buying from a company approved by the planning officer, detailed plans and drawings drawn up by a professional approved by the planning officer and installed by a firm approved by the planning officer. It just seems that there is very little transparency on how these individuals give approval and a lot of money is being made by creating a “bespoke” service in what was formerly a very competitive market.


They should follow the rules like everybody else